For a true taste of Jakarta, why not try the famous kerak telor from the various roadside vendors around the city?
The famous kerak telor traditional spicy omelette dish in Indonesian cuisine. It is made from glutinous rice cooked with egg and served with serundeng (fried shredded coconut), fried shallots and dried shrimp as topping. It is considered as a snack and not as a main dish. The vendors of kerak telor are easily the most ubiquitous during annual Jakarta Fair and it has also become a must-have menu item for visitors at the event.
The kerak telor vendor puts a small amount of sticky rice on a small wok pan and heats it on the charcoal fire. Add an egg (chicken or duck, but I think duck eggs are more delicious), and add some spices and mix it. The dish is fried on a wok without any cooking oil so the omelette will stick on the wok and enable to put it upside down straight against charcoal fire until it is cooked. This is what I love about the kerak telor, it seems so industrial with the way it’s produced, and then when the friendly vendors sprinkle the shallots on at the end it seems as though they have made the perfect street food of Jakarta!
I was not in Jakarta for long, only in passing really before heading east to Jogja by train, however I still had time to get a taste of kerak telor. I speak to many Indonesian friends on WhatsApp and they all swear by kerak telor, and knowing how much I love my street food, they had been encouraging me to find myself some for an age! As it turned out, I managed to eat two – one for lunch, and then another one as a late night snack before boarding the train!